Friday, September 29, 2023

Kubrick Variations / The Acidemic Stanley Kubrick Conspiracy Reader

Facebook reminded me I posted the above collage 10 years ago--they must really want me to write about it. I made it, and many others, after being bowled over by Rodney Ascher's ROOM 237, for my gushing and very paranoid review of same (here). Apparently, my unconscious drive really admired it for he was all over making weird collages bringing numerous Kubricks together. Like the above, called 'The Ultimate Trip" is about the realization that when we no longer have eyes, we cannot shut them. Or open them either. The Ludivico Technique can't harm you now. There is no shocking the third eye--it sees everything all at once and and so you shouldn't open it until you are 'prepared,'  The twins are the last thing reflected in your soon to be plucked pupil.  Taken before Anubis by our murdered twin psychopomps. Forever and ever, Danny!

So here's a round-up of my best Stanley Kubrick pieces over the years. Any conspiracy theory stuff--please note the dates--precede the Q-Anon phenomenon (I'd never write about that stuff now, so as not to enflame the already out of control fire.) It's dangerous stuff. Extreme paranoia does weird things to reality. And what of Stanley's real intent, his veiled message? . 
"I think for aa movie or play to say anything really truthful about life, it has to do so obliquely, so you avoid all pat conclusions and neatly tied-up ideas." .... When you tell people what things mean, they don't mean anything anymore... As a member of the audience I particularly enjoy those subtle discoveries where I wonder whether the filmmaker himself was even aware they were in the film" - Kubrick

 I posit the above quote as an introduction to my first piece on this list, a praiseful awe for ROOM 237. I was going to add some quotes of the 'if the filmmaker didn't intend the message to be there, then your interpretation is wrong!" kind of thing. But why not just link it?

(original post title: Room 237 Ripped Off Little Danny's Decal --Oct. 3, 2013)

Call the critics and theorists in ROOM 237 paranoid, overreaching, seeing too deeply, perhaps paranoid schizophrenic on some level. Go ahead! But don't mind me if I leave with them (We Pisces adore a lucid crackpot) and vamoose from your presence (we loathe a reductionist. I don't have to think they're 'right' if I don't see what they're talking about. But that's art, man.  I prefer an engaging crazy theory over a dry Bordwell-ian analysis any day. I don't think filmmaker Rodney Ascher is making fun of these lunatics or encouraging them to die on dangerous hills. The film would just be a snarky bore if he was. The film just illuminates how deep Kubrick's rabbit hole goes if you watch it 100 times. Which you should. Never the same film twice, that's the dream. (full)

Anyone who's been to the psychedelic mountaintop, transcended space and time, and/or archeived the 'Absolute' as per the Gateway Process will surely have some chills of recognition in room 237. The room itself has cabin fever (shorthand for losing touch with consensual 'reality'). Room 237 has slipped loose from the bonds of linear time, warping the perceptions of those who enter it like an innocent needle finding itself on a skipping record. Without a 'majority' rule of perception (during the tourist season) to block the infinite with their tunnel vision reality, 237 bathroom opens its black hole. That black can envelop you in its ink and you will be flushed down the pipes of Aboriginal 'dream-time' into the sub-basement of the sleeping anima mundi before slowly spiraling out of Marian Crane's open dilated pupil in PSYCHO, or out of the pistol barrel fired into the camera of Mick Jagger's brain at the end of PERFORMANCE. Viola, you've wormholed from one movie to another. The drain's small black hole slows down the world around it in an inescapable clockwork pentameter--hypnotic in its steady unwavering mechanical rhythm. It is the earth, the sun, and the wheels within wheels revolving in Ezekiel's or 2001's spaceship. The vocalizing drones on the soundtrack work to achieve this revolving sense of hypnosis, as does the slow, dreamlike movement of the camera and actors. The whole film up to that point has been a slow hypnosis. The banal pleasantries of the beginning convey the inadequacy of language to sum up non-ordinary experience ("that's quite a story," Jack tells the Overlook manager, a parallel to Heywood Floyd's "looks like you fellas really found something" in 2001) but that just paves the way for the break from space/time that' coming. But first, the spell. Notice the way Jack continually winces at his wife's banal pleasantries throughout the film--for her language is just a thing to say to make sure the other person knows you're there--the words have no meaning. But with his mantra-like repetition of certain phrases--"Gimme the bat!" or "Danny! Danny, boy!" or "My responsibilities!" (or the "dull boy" thing, of course) Jack shows the best use of language is to use it to step outside the structural limits of language and into some kind of gone catharsis.

And what a good student is little Danny - chanting "Redrum!" over and over until his Jack magically comes out of the box. Kubrick is justifying why he's so OCD with take after take after take. 

It might seem like I'm saying the Monarch 7 and SRA conspiracies don't exist, but to me it goes beyond something so trivial as 'reality.'  The tribal initiation, the paranoid schizophrenic fantasy, the Salem Sabbath, and the the Illuminati mind control conspiracy are all part of the same collective subconscious--which it isn't the same as 'reality' since it feels even more authentic than reality itself.  There is a vast wilderness beyond what our ego and mainstream liner science allows as 'fact' (a term the ego doesn't even like to examine, as like HAL 9000, it refuses to see itself as it truly is --an illusory construct). 

If you saw the screen you're reading this on 'as it really is' for example, solid matter would just be low frequency light-energy emanating from closely interwoven buzzing atoms. And that's no way to go through life. Our ego is our blinders that lets us avoid distraction from all the pretty sparks, but we shouldn't kid ourselves which side of the blinders lurks 'hallucination'.

Seeing ROOM 237 last week (review) is what set me off on this tangent. If you see that film you naturally have to see THE SHINING right afterwards, and then keep going, applying the paranoid deconstructions from 237 to Kubrick's other films. But I warn you, keep out of EYES WIDE SHUT with your ray of paranoid layer uncovering! Just stay out! A few luridly detailed 'recovered memories' of trauma-based ritual programming later and--whether they're true or just paranoid fantasies-- you might be wishing you could put those blinders back on and get back to your relatively Edenic cud-chaw pasture. (full)

...Pollack is brave and focused as an actor, especially for his willingness to play with moral ambiguity, to use his own aging, hairy bourgeois Zionist paranoia-engendering monstrous 'anal father'-ism as an example of what William Burroughs once described as "the cold, dead look of heavy power." Tapping into a common racist/classisct/ageist phobia that rich old (semitic) Svengalis are stealing off our shiksa Trilbys through the use of their gypsy magic. Like Christophe Waltz in BASTERDS, Pollack uses deep, relaxed but heavy nasal breathing to make you feel very close to him, as if he's leaning over your shoulder, and you don't want him to be; you feel like he's stealing something from you and you're afraid to ask for it back, or even what it is. There's something incestuous about the way we're conditioned to accept him as a "good guy" via his ease with signifiers of wealth. He seems to turn the viewer into a prostitute through his nostrils and through his use of anonymous but gorgeous younger women for sex, the way most people wearily order pizza, "again" for a dull dinner. (contrast with him talking about a prostitute "with a mouth like velvet" and dating a younger woman (!) in Woody Allen's (!) Husband's and Wives - coincidence? Not to conspiracy paranoiacs (who might be 'right') like David Icke! 

But with that heavy serpentine weariness comes the knowledge that as a representative of the power elite (the modern equivalent of the monstrous cannibal incest father of old, killed by Zeus, wiped out by the flood), it's his job to posit himself as "the one who enjoys," to situate the rest of us as outsiders in the fantasy realm so that we can keep ourselves in a distracted orbit around the real and thus preserve the gravitational field by which society functions (Slavoj Zizek.... will explain). This is a man who lives his pleasures close to the hairy surface; he's tactile. He forces us to imagine him having sex via his physical looseness, his hairy chest exposed. Cruise by contrast is repressed, i.e. 'normal' - he's not used to being touched unless it's in a mundane sexual way by his wife (and really he just wants an excuse to get off to himself in the mirror and have it not be gay or narcissistic), and like us, he worries the whole world is a continual orgy the moment his back is turned. He can't help but feel that he, and he, alone, is the odd man out, the one everyone hides their stash of libidinal enjoyment from, even when they're fully undressed in his doctor's office. The truth is, he keeps getting offers to go 'over the rainbow' but he continually chickens out., (full)

The Illuminati, Hypnosis, Paranoia, Schizophrenia, Kubrick, and Tom Cruise (Divinorum Psychonauticus - May 19, 2016)

"... A key aspect of the fantasy-traversing orbit is the desire to 'retrace one's steps,' to find the fork where you and your fantasy parted ways (for we always feel that we were once living within the fantasy rather than orbiting outside it, even though we never really have, nor can we, no matter how convincing our maskies). In EYES, this is what Cruise's Dr. Bill does the next day after his orgy dismissal; the return is always built into any orbit, with the illusion of linear time transcended. Danny retraces his steps in the Overlook maze snow; the star child returns to earth, presumably to drop down into the lap of the very same ape who had tossed the bone up at the start of 2001; Alex re-encounters all the people he hurt in the first part of the film; Humbert's visit to the pregnant, bespectacled, de-sexualized Lolita mirrors his visit to her mother in the beginning, and the shooting of Quilty both opens and closes the film. Kubrick loves a long orbit. 

This is why the ultimate realization scene for Dr. Bill is when the odious Ziegler begins to back up over his 'charade' story and he realizes he's met a man even more of a fake than he is. That's what nails him, more than the mask, which is just another reminder of these rich elite's powerful omnipresence, but that it could be Ziegler himself who is the mastermind of all the things, right down to the call girl O.D, which may be fake anyway to scare him off. Is anything real at all? In clouding the issue Ziegler shows Dr. Bill the very painting of his fear, the refractions created by falseness and the empty cold of his cocksure grin, which its smug wearer presumes sweetens any amount of evasive bullshit. (Full)

(from Bright Lights Film Journal, 2009)

Like most of Kubrick’s work, Lolita (1962) reflects this gradual rotation ever further into the simulacrum but from an earlier epoch; going from the refinements and closeted perversities of old Europe to the postmodern “no tell” motels of modern America. There are three levels of time passing in our filmic discussion: the span of time since Lolita the film was released, the span of time of the actual movie (2 ½ hours) and the time spanned in the movie’s mise en scene (as in “3 years later”). Kubrick in this case ingeniously unites all three. As the film progresses, it moves from shrill bedroom farce to tense Freudian scenes of insane jealousy, the film gets darker, moodier. The progression is similar actually to another of Mason’s roles, that of the cortisone-maniac dad in Bigger Than Life. The monstrousness of his actions becomes apparent only later, when he’s struggling to keep his mask on in the face of all the subterfuge and self-fulfilling jealousy. Simultaneously, Lolita the film heralds our movement as a world into a sexual revolution, using its heavy bourgeois rep to smash through weakened small town idealism, and rockieting the male libido into a simulacrum fog.

(Nov. 2010)

Over the passing decades this film's been many things to me, but this last viewing it seemed to be about art vs. censorship and the way the promoters of 'childhood wonderment' and the Peter Pan 'if you can dream' aesthetic--the Norman Rockwell fishing boy logo of Dreamworks and the mouth agape wonderment of E.T.-- are the both the exploiters of children and culprits who bring us the hyper-awareness of the dangers of pedophilia. The two are entwined, a double exposure of exposing, like a cobra with the head of a tail-eating mongoose. The more you pine for and prize a 'perfect nuclear family' the more pressure-cooker force you put on those latent incestuous, pedophile dark desires. Cronus is ever ready to devour those foolish enough to believe in a perfect unity. Pedophilia--which is a key element in SRA conditioning according to your neighborhood Monarch 7 conspiracy theorist. It makes sense, for it's a short cut to creating the desired split personality, that which will then prime them to grow up as Manchurian candidates. In reality it's even more vile--to the point even hardened criminals feel the need to stomp on pedophiles in their midst. It makes sense, it goes deeper than Oedipus, down into the murky swamp behind the Bates Motel,, and it's always just a trigger phrase away. It's what lies beneath our modern trend towards the deification of children and their 'innocence.' Is it any accident that the two main architects of this hypocritical saintly children-izing in the early 1980s were Michael Jackson and Steven Spielberg?  Maybe I'm just spoiled, having grown up in the 70s when kids were treated like wild animals, running amok in unsupervised packs, with ambivalent parents with social lives of their own. When I was a kid, it was considered far worse to be overprotective than permissive. Today it's the reverse. Parents drop off and pick up their kids every day, like some kind of terrified chauffeur. know why, don't we, Gen X-ers? We were the ones that ruined it for future kids maybe, by running wild --but we had great 70s dads, who regarded their progeny with both fierce lion-like love and complete disinterest.  (full )


(From Divinorum-Live Journal 2009)

My granny is cruising through her 90s in a warp that sucks me in by number.
All through the long visits I felt death pull me like gravity, like time pulls the meat off a chicken bone, like it pulls the planets along behind it as it sucks and roars along,
like stringed tin cans on a baptism-cum prom-cum wedding-cum-funeral car, or a chained together lineage on a pirate ship, condemned and chained in order of age, with the eldest thrown overboard, their children watching the disappearing link of chain, powerless to stop its disappearing.

and then all just raw conscious thoughtlessness - a dull roar of white static, in which you may at times think you hear the ocean, or vice versa... all voices that you hear are your own, you realize, in this 2001-Kubrick room of the self [you knew I had to shoehorn that in here-EK 2023], and outside that, the serpent swimming through the blue veins of your aging relations, swimming both towards you and away, towards you and away...

I've been unable to leave the house, no matter where I go. (EK - 2008)

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